by KATHLEEN CASEY
In recognition of more than 25 years of service to the Church, Liz Mulholland was awarded the papal medal, Cruce pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, at St Francis of Assisi Church on February 14, by parish priest Fr Simon Eccleton.

Liz Mulholland, centre, with parish chairwoman Sue McTague and Fr Simon Eccleton, is honoured for her 25 years of service to her local church.
Liz Mulholland, centre, with parish chairwoman Sue McTague and Fr Simon Eccleton, is honoured for her 25 years of service to her local church.

For all those years, Mrs Mulholland has prepared children for Reconciliation and First Communion.
Although all children now come together, in earlier years Confraternity of Christian Doctrine was an extra group she taught, and Confirmation classes were sometimes also scheduled. Most of her 25 years was spent at St Paul’s parish, Dallington, until the 2010 earthquake broke the church in two and led to several moves for the parish school.
Mrs Mulholland was one of the band of St Paul’s teachers who then cared for children often upset by continuing aftershocks and earthquakes, and she said a strong bond developed with the children and the community, which helped greatly at those times.
Former St Paul’s pupils moved four times until this year, when St Francis of Assisi parish school opened.
Mrs Mulholland taught for 30 years in the Catholic system, 24 of those as director of religious education (DRS) and said: “I think basically I have just been following the Lord’s command to ‘Let the little children come to me’.” Over those years she has also given continuing service as a Church organist.
Mrs Mulholland joins two other parishioners previously awarded this medal: Sue McTague and Diana Clark.

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